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Understanding Homelessness

Understanding homelessness means to know what some of the issues are pertaining to the social issues causing homelessness: poverty, affordable housing, disabilities, and others. Homelessness occurs when people or households can no longer afford to maintain housing. While circumstances can vary, the main reason people experience homelessness is because they cannot find housing they can afford. Typically, families become homeless as a result of some unforeseen financial crisis - a medical emergency, a car accident, a death in the family - that prevents them from being able to hold on to housing. Young people often become homeless due to family conflict, including divorce, neglect, or abuse. (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2015) A lot of young people who become homeless, they either return home or move in with friends or family. Veterans often become homeless due to war-related disabilities. For many different reasons, whether it is physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress or mental illnesses, etc. a lot of veterans find returning back to civilian life to be difficult after experiencing some of the things they have seen. In return some are experiencing substance abuse problems, violence, abuse and risky behavior. Chronic homelessness is often the face we see first as homelessness. A recent study shows that nowhere in the United States can someone who works 40 hours a week at minimum wage afford a one bedroom apartment at fair market rent. Homelessness maybe decreasing, however we as communities along with our federal government need to prioritize affordable housing to eradicate the problem of homelessness. 

Kimberly Fickes
Employment and Life Skills Specialist
Homeward Bound


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